On my last trip to Seoul, I remarked to my colleague how crowded the bars were, and that must mean the Korean economy must be holding up well. His response:
"No. When the economy is well, everyone goes to drink to celebrate. When the economy is bad, everyone goes to drink to forget. So this is not a sign either way."
Good point. The volume of drinking probably stays constant, it's the quality of drink that changes with the economy; less champagne, more Boone's Farm.